Re: [CH] copyright violation

The Old Bear (
Tue, 02 Jun 1998 23:38:52 -0400

In Chile Heads Digest, v.4 no.443, Mary Going wrote:

>Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 19:51:56 -0400
>From: Mary Going <>
>Subject: [CH] copyright violation
>I received an "award" from Password Internet, and went to check it 
>out.  They have magazines online, which they invite people to create, 
>and which they are "borrowing" from other people.  Mine happened to 
>be listed several times...Some of the sites they're using other than 
>mine include The Chilehead's Homepage, Jeff's Poetry Page, and many
>many more.  The Chilehead's Page is really being abused, showing the 
>gallery on every other page, and milking everything they can out of 
>it.  They are using frames.  You click on something in the left frame, 
>for example a link to my web site, and POOF, my site is sitting there 
>in the middle of their frames, the top frame sporting revenue-generating 
>advertising. . . 

We bears have minds like -- I hate the expression -- steel traps.

I recalled an item which appeared in Edupage a while back and did a 
little search of my own achives and came up with the following:


  A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York City accuses
  Phoenix-based TotalNews of "blatant acts of misappropriation, 
  trademark dilution and infringement, willful copyright violations, 
  and other related tortious acts."  The plaintiffs, which include 
  CNN, The Washington Post Co., Dow Jones, Times Mirror and Reuters, 
  are upset that the hot links provided from TotalNews to their Web 
  sites display their content framed by the TotalNews home page and 
  its banner ads.  Bruce Keller, an attorney for the plaintiffs calls "a parasitic Web site with no content of its own."  
  However, TotalNews says it's simply providing PC users links to 
  some 1,200 news sources, allowing viewers to compare information 
  from each, and that if the case goes against them, the precedent 
  will endanger the ability of Web site operators to provide hot links 
  to other sites.  "Hot links either do or don't violate trademarks. 
  That's not new.  Framing is new.  And framing and selling ads is 
  pretty damn new," says Keller.  

  summarized from:  Broadcasting & Cable, March 3, 1997

I believe there was also a somewhat similar case pending in the UK 
where a small Scottish newspaper was featuring a web site with links 
to news stories on it's larger competitor's web site -- in order to 
promote its own site as a gateway to late breaking news which it 
obviously did not have the capability or resouces for reporting on 
its own.

And, of course, there is the much publicized suit by TicketMaster 
against Microsoft's moribund "Mainstreet" which linked to the 
heart of the TicketMaster site so that Mainstreet patrons could 
go right to the place for ordering tickets without having to 
pass through TicketMaster's own advertising-laden front end 

Having said all this, I just did a quick search in AltaVista for 
sites containing the words "TotalNews" and "suit" and came up 
with 173 matches, including this brief summary article from the 
Chicago Software Newspaper:

     Law and Technology: 
     Legal Precedent for Limiting Links in the News 

     URL: < >

Also, see the story on C|net about how the CNN et al v. TotalNews 
suit ended in a settlement and not a decision:

     URL: < >

and a Wired look at the issues:

     URL: < >

And, at that, I will leave it to the legal eagles among the Chile 
Heads to do the rest of the detective work -- or as Eddie Valiant 
once asked, "Who framed Roger Rabbit?"

The Old Bear